Mega!! Kung Fu Radio

By Gus Bode

Powerman 5000 call their music action rock.

What it actually sounds like is mid-tempo funk/punk/metal with Rob Zombie alternating between spoken vocals and his best Zach De La Rocha imitation.

That description in itself might send a few people off to the record store, but if you’re like me, you probably quit reading after the last paragraph.


Powerman 5000 exemplify what the music world does not need right now:another group of mostly white fellas (this particular bunch hailing from Boston) who woke up one day and decided that funk was cool. It’s over-adrenalized to point that the Mountain-Dew attitude overshadows any substance that might be buried underneath all of the posturing.

This is the problem of a lot of today’s funk (and rap) releases. The artists pay more attention to their images than their sounds. George Clinton, the indisputable god of funk, worked image a lot, too, but it was original and genuine. And it always complemented the music.

Powerman 5000 claims their music is hard to classify but tracks like Organized are straight up funk/punk. The bass line of that track is kind of catchy, but the guitar work is limited to loud, easy-to-play power chords. It sounds like the band is trying to cover up the guitarist’s limited chops. The few solos on the album are so drenched with effects and production that anyone with rudimentary skills could have belted the sounds out.

All of this has been done before and done better, by bands like 24-7 Spyz. Groups like Powerman 5000 are proof of how hard A&R reps are still trying to milk the funk/rock genre. It’s almost as bad as the scramble for grunge earlier this decade. If you just can’t get enough of attitude-heavy funk, buy this. But don’t expect the band to put out more than one or two more albums.